How to Start a Home Based Online Business

Filled with excitement, energy, and a bit of fear, new marketers launch into a vast arena where contestants battle for the attention of prospects. Then they recoil at the daunting task of learning the technologies and the methods of internet marketing success. Set yourself apart from the competition at the very beginning by paying heed to these four foundational elements for starting a new home based online business.

First, Get Your Head in the Game

Take it seriously. You’ve heard this before: Treat your business like a hobby and it will cost you like a hobby; treat it like a business and it will pay you like a business. Establish a business routine and stick to it (except when it needs improvement). Focus on the high-ROI activities first. Plan each day and work the plan. Minimize distractions. Cut wasteful spending of time and money. If it is not revenue-generating activity, question why you are doing it. Bottom line: treat your business like a real business and not like a hobby.

Decide Now to Persevere. In my corporate career I hired many employees – maybe not numbering in the hundreds, but at least half of that. I can guarantee you that I never ever hired a person who said, “I will give this a try and see how it goes”. And I bet dollars to donuts that you would never hire an employee who had that attitude. So look in the mirror and ask if you would hire yourself with a “see how it goes” mindset. How about a sports metaphor: “Put me in, Coach, and I’ll see if it works out”. If you want to do a test-drive, go to your local car dealer. If you find that you can’t shake the “see how it goes” mindset, you are not ready. Stay at your job until the fire in your belly burns away that chaff and forges the “I will be successful” attitude of determination.

Be Patient. I’ve never met the college student who got frustrated that he wasn’t making an income before graduating from college. Why? Because he does not expect a company to take on a risk by hiring him until he has his degree in-hand. But it is the nature of the network marketing business that many people expect to plug in and start making money from day one. And instead of filtering out the get-rich-quick junkies, most marketers flood the internet with offers that play on the desire to get the itch scratched with little effort or investment required. Remember that a business that will be sustainable and have longevity will take time to ramp up. Be patient.

Second, Do Your Due Diligence

Research Company Basics. Ever meet a get-rich-quick junkie who did an appropriate amount of research? They do lots of internet surfing, but no real research. There is a big difference. Surfing is like walking down the supermarket cereal aisle looking for a flashy wrapper. Research is picking up the box and evaluating the contents. Sure, conducting research can be exhausting, but what is the alternative? Elements that should be considered include the company’s history and track record; the level of training and support available to marketing consultants; setup costs and recurring maintenance fees; face-to-face events where consultants interact with company leaders and top earners; the impact the product has in the lives of customers. There are more, but these are the essentials.

Set Up Your Business Right. Highly reputable companies will have an established process for getting started. They will have orientation materials, intermediate training, and advanced courses, and an array of live business calls and webinars and recordings. Plug into the training and learn as much as you can in order to be of value to yourself and to others. Sage advice: don’t reinvent what already exists; it will waste your time and energy. And by the way, if your company does not have these basic materials, do not follow their example. Instead, plan on becoming a leader by creating and providing these materials for your team members.

Third, Set Your Expectations

With all the data gathered from the research, right from the start, seek to achieve clarity on your expectations and the roadmap for achieving your goals. Frustration and discouragement – and there is plenty of this in every form of business – will be minimized when you calibrate your expectations. This is not to say that goals should not be set up high among the stars. But expectations of the speed and trajectory of reaching those goals should be realistically matched to the business model. For example, the profit margin on nutrition products will be vastly different than the margin on high-end wealth education products. The size of your team and the volume of product you move will impact how quickly you get to positive cash flow. Base your expectations on the realities of your business model.

Fourth, Establish Your Insider Support Group

Recently I received an out-of-the-blue phone call from a woman, whom I will call Carol, who has a business with an MLM nutrition company. Carol was bewildered by the back-office website and she did not know where to turn for help and support (her previous sponsor had left the company). Being unfamiliar with her company and product, but knowing that I could figure out what was happening, I logged into her back office with her and walked through the details of her account. In the end we solved the problem, we got her connected to a new sponsor in her company and she is now back up and running.

Carol needs an insider support group for encouragement, for support, and for master-minding. The impact on her and her business of not having such a group was huge – she was floundering and her $5K income had dwindled because she did not know the mechanics of the new version of her back office. With few possible exceptions, top leaders all utilize a mastermind group for their success. Once experienced, a mastermind support group quickly becomes a must-have element of every business leader. Do not try to do it without one unless you have lots of time and energy and money to waste.

These four elements – getting your head in the game, doing your research, establishing expectations and creating a mastermind group – are essential for launching a home based online business. Set off in the right direction and enter the arena well ahead of all the competition.